Dial 482 Corruption

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Ethics and Corruption: 

Ethics and Corruption

CORRUPTION IN POLICING: 

CORRUPTION IN POLICING Police are no more deviant than any other group. Corruption has been a reality since the beginning of policing. Most incidents of police misconduct involve marginal behavior. A few incidents involve blatant misconduct.

Police Abuse of Authority : 

Police Abuse of Authority Physical abuse Excessive force Physical harassment Psychological abuse Disrespect Harassment Ridicule Intimidation Legal abuse Unlawful searches or seizures Manufacturing evidence

Corruption: 

Corruption Exploiting one’s position for personal gain at the expense of those one is authorized to serve. Police corruption is a worldwide problem. It encompasses Graft Theft Internal payoffs Protection of illegal activity Excessive force Other ethical violations enabled by police authority

Corrupt Officers: 

Corrupt Officers Grass eaters Passively corrupt Opportunistic ethical violations Take bribes and gratuities Accept unsolicited protection money Meat eaters Actively corrupt Regular ethical violations Participate in shakedowns Rob drug dealers “Shop" at burglary scenes Engage in criminal activities

Gratuities: 

Gratuities Items of value given because of role or position, rather than personal relationship. NOT GIFTS A gift is personal and has no strings attached. Common police gratuities include Free coffee Free movie/sports tickets Discounted or free meals Discounted or free merchandise

Gratuities for police: Unethical?: 

Gratuities for police: Unethical? Erode public confidence in police Undermine professionalism May become expected Cement relations between police and public Help officers stay informed Often given by those who use police the most YES NO

Arguments against gratuities: 

Arguments against gratuities Professionals (including police) don’t take gratuities. Lead to expectation of different treatment. Abuse of authority; create a sense of entitlement. Can add up to substantial amounts of money. May lead to more serious forms of corruption. Contrary to democratic ideals (fee-for-service. Leads to public perception police are corrupt.

Using Drugs/Alcohol on Duty: 

Using Drugs/Alcohol on Duty Police work factors that foster drug use Exposure to a criminal element Relative freedom from supervision Uncontrolled availability of contraband Drinking on duty Creates less vulnerability to corruption than drug use Creates an ethical dilemma for other officers May lead other officers to isolate themselves from or avoid working with those who drink

Measures Against Drug Corruption: 

Measures Against Drug Corruption Leadership Management and supervision Better training and discipline Better evidence handling Early warning systems Information management Internal auditing of the use of informants Audit controls for drug enforcement units Periodic turnover of staff

Baksheesh: 

Baksheesh Exploitation of one’s role by accepting bribes or protection money. Also applies to kickbacks from defense attorneys, bail bond companies, etc. Internationally, bribes are rated as a serious problem. Graft Euphemism for graft in the Middle East, Southwest Asia. Officials expect baksheesh in order to do their job. بخشش (from Persian for “gift”: )

Sexual Harassment and Assault : 

Sexual Harassment and Assault Viewing a victim's photos, etc., for prurient purposes Strip searches Illegal detentions Deception to gain sex Trading favors for sex Sexual harassment Sexual contact Sexual assault Rape

Excessive Force : 

Excessive Force Occurs when an officer: Goes beyond what is necessary for arrest Has no lawful reason to use force at all One of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the U.S. The use of force may be perfectly acceptable and justified. Use of force depends on discretion of the individual officer. Individuals who question or refuse to recognize police authority become vulnerable to the use of force.

Culture of Force: 

Culture of Force L.A.P.D. policy was to use escalating force proportional to a suspect's "offensive" behavior. This policy justified all but the most blatant abuse of police power. L.A.P.D. culture tolerated, even encouraged, a high level of violence. Leadership did not actively discourage excessive force. L.A.P.D. management was responsible, to some extent, for the brutality of the Rodney King incident. The Los Angeles Police Department and the Rodney King Incident

The Research on Excessive Force: 

The Research on Excessive Force The true number of excessive force incidents is difficult to detect. Few encounters end in the use of any force, much less excessive force. A small percentage of officers are responsible for most excessive force incidents. Race and socioeconomic status are associated with excessive force. But other factors (such as demeanor) are more influential.

Who Uses Excessive Force?: 

Who Uses Excessive Force? Certain characteristics associated with officers who use excessive force: Lack of empathy Antisocial and paranoid tendencies Proclivity toward abusive behavior Inability to learn from experience Tendency to not take responsibility for own actions Cynicism Strong identification with the police subculture

Some factors in the use of excessive force: 

Some factors in the use of excessive force Suspect being male Suspect's race Suspect's demeanor Suspect agitation / emotionality Suspect intoxication Suspect’s use of force Suspect having a weapon Suspect’s use of force Socioeconomic status of suspect gang involvement Officer being male Officer’s race Age of officer (younger) Officer having prior injuries Encounter involving a car chase Number of citizens present Number of police officers present Knowledge suspect committed prior (especially violent) crimes

Measures of Corruption: 

Measures of Corruption Countries with high scores for police honesty Finland Denmark New Zealand Sweden Countries with low scores for police honesty Azerbaijan Bolivia Kenya Uganda Bangladesh

Police on Corruption: 

Police on Corruption U.S. Police Rankings of Ethical Misconduct Stealing from a crime scene Bribery Theft of a found wallet Accepting free drinks to ignore an open bar Taking kickbacks from an auto repair shop

Explanations: 

Explanations “Rotten-apple” argument (Officer was deviant before hiring) Development of a police personality (Officer became deviant after hiring) Both implicate screening / recruiting process. BUT: What is “acceptable” vs. what is “deviant” varies widely Individual

Explanations: 

Explanations Low management and public visibility Peer group secrecy Poor supervision Ethnic divisions Department politics Police role as front-line interface with criminals Tension between discretion and bureaucraticism Role of commanders in spreading corruption These implicate structure and supervision. Institutional / Organizational

Explanations: 

Explanations If the public does not comply with the law, officers may rationalize non-enforcement of the law. If the public engages in illegal activities, officers may feel justified in doing the same. If the public believes crime control is more important than due process, police will act on that message. These implicate the relationship between police and the public. Systemic / Societal

NOBLE-CAUSE CORRUPTION: 

NOBLE-CAUSE CORRUPTION Involves officers employing unethical means to catch criminals because “it’s the right thing to do” Perceived by officers as fulfillment of their profound moral commitment to make the world a safer place to live Is a euphemism for perjury, which is a serious crime.

NOBLE-CAUSE CORRUPTION: 

NOBLE-CAUSE CORRUPTION Ends-Oriented Thinking: Police culture supports “whatever it takes” approach Police work attracts those who hold such values Police training internalizes these values more deeply Police feel great responsibility to keep the world “safe” Police discretion provides latitude to create and apply ends-oriented solutions

NOBLE-CAUSE CORRUPTION: 

NOBLE-CAUSE CORRUPTION Underlying Questions: Is breaking the law to catch a criminal a “good” act? Does the “good” end of crime control justify “bad” means?

REACTIVE INVESTIGATION: 

REACTIVE INVESTIGATION Attempts to reconstruct a crime after it occurs Consists of gathering evidence to identify and prosecute the offender Investigator(s) may develop early prejudice about likely perpetrator, which might cause them to: be tempted to engage in noble-cause corruption to obtain a conviction; ignore or conceal evidence that contradicts their beliefs; overstate existing evidence; and/or manufacture or alter evidence.

PROACTIVE INVESTIGATION: 

PROACTIVE INVESTIGATION Attempts to document crime as it occurs Requires a more active police role Often involves deception by police Requires “targeting” based on reasonable suspicion Changes police role from discovering who has committed a crime to discovering who might commit a crime

TYPOLOGY of LIES: 

TYPOLOGY of LIES Placebos, such as lying to a person about how a loved one was killed Blue lies, used to control a person and make the police officer’s job easier Accepted lies, such as those used during undercover investigations or sting operations Tolerated lies, “necessary evils” such as lying during interrogations Deviant lies, such as false testimony in court to make a case, or covering up police wrongdoing

ENTRAPMENT : 

ENTRAPMENT When police encourage or entice a person to commit an illegal act. Approaches: Subjective – Focuses on the defendant and his/her predisposition to crime Objective - Focuses on the government and whether it has broken the law

ENTRAPMENT : 

ENTRAPMENT Criticisms: Allows police to tempt former offenders who might otherwise not have been tempted May rely on hearsay and rumor May stigmatize the individual charged Allows police to choose their own targets Degrades the criminal justice system through the use of deceit

POLICE and the MEDIA : 

POLICE and the MEDIA Should the police lie to the media if it might help them prevent a crime or catch a criminal? Should the media have complete power to report crime activities, even if this creates fear or panic or interferes with an investigation? How do the media affect an individual’s ability to get a fair trial?

INFORMANTS: 

INFORMANTS Individuals who are not police officers but assist police by providing information about criminal activity. They are: Motivated by monetary profit, revenge, dementia, kicks, a need for attention, repentance (guilt), and coercion Able to operate under fewer restrictions than police

INFORMANTS: 

INFORMANTS Ethical Issues: Becoming too intimate with informants Overestimating the veracity of information provided Potential for being duped by informant Using informants to entrap people (“creating” crimes) Engaging in unethical or illegal behaviors on behalf of the informant Using coercion and intimidation to force informant’s cooperation

UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS: 

UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS Criticisms: May generate markets for illegal goods and services May generate ideas for crimes May generate motive May provide a missing resource May coerce or intimidate a person not otherwise predisposed to commit the offense May generate a covert opportunity for undercover agent to commit crime May lead to retaliatory violence May stimulate various crimes by persons who are not the targets of the undercover operation

UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS: 

UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS Suggested limitations: Require a probable cause-based warrant for any interaction longer than 24 hours Ban officers’ engagement in intimate relationships Evidence obtained by violating the first two limitations should be excluded at trial

UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS: 

UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS Police Objections to Limits: There is no need for an undercover operation if probable cause exists It is often impossible to get a warrant Most undercover operations exceed 24 hours

UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS: 

UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS Ethical system perspectives: Religious ethics would condemn undercover operations due to inherent deception Ethical formalism could not justify undercover operations under the categorical imperative Egoism may or may not condemn undercover operations depending on the officer involved and his/her gain or loss Utilitarian ethics would justify undercover operations based on the greater societal benefit they provide

UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS: 

UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS Testing the Ethical Justification for Police Practices: End must be a good Means must be plausible There is no alternative means to achieve same end Means must not undermine other equal or greater end

INTERROGATION: 

INTERROGATION Cannot involve physical force (the “third degree”) Often involves deception by the interrogator, such as: Calling an interrogation an “interview” Negating the effectiveness of the Miranda warnings by method of presentation Misrepresenting the seriousness of the offense Manipulative appeals to suspect’s conscience Making leniency promises beyond the interrogator’s power to offer Interrogator misrepresenting his/her identity Using fabricated evidence to make suspect think case against him/her is strong

WHISTLEBLOWING: 

WHISTLEBLOWING Facing the wrongdoing of a fellow officer is a police officer’s most difficult ethical dilemma The code of silence present in police work is also present in other occupations and professions In policing, the code of silence is a form of noble-cause corruption The police subculture reinforces a code of silence Adherence destroys police credibility

WHISTLEBLOWING: 

WHISTLEBLOWING Ethical Systems and the Whistleblower: Egoism supports coming forward because doing so would prevent one from being among the accused if the wrongdoing is otherwise exposed Egoism also supports not coming forward because doing so may not be in one’s best interests Utilitarian ethics supports coming forward because not exposing the wrongdoing may lead to the greater harm of a scandalous cover-up Utilitarian ethics also supports not coming forward because doing so may negate the unethically achieved good end

WHISTLEBLOWING: 

WHISTLEBLOWING Ethical Systems and the Whistleblower: Deontology supports coming forward because one has a higher duty to uphold the law than to defend one’s fellow officers Deontology also supports not coming forward because one assumes obligations of discretion and secrecy when one joins the force

LOYALTY: 

LOYALTY A component of the esprit de corps of policing An absolutely essential element of a healthy department Explained by officers’ dependence on one another, sometimes in life-or-death situations A personal relationship, not a judgment

SANCTIONS ON WHISTLEBLOWERS: 

SANCTIONS ON WHISTLEBLOWERS A distressing aspect of loyalty Are often extreme Have resulted in state and federal legislation to protect whistleblowers Legislation is ineffective against informal ostracism and rejection

REDUCING CORRUPTION: 

REDUCING CORRUPTION Possible Solutions: Increase pay Eliminate unenforceable laws Establish civilian review boards Improve training Improve leadership

REDUCING CORRUPTION: 

REDUCING CORRUPTION Encouraging Ethical Conduct: Set realistic goals and objectives Provide ethical leadership Provide a written code of ethics Provide a whistleblowing procedure that ensures fair treatment for all parties Provide training in law enforcement ethics

EDUCATION and TRAINING: 

EDUCATION and TRAINING Higher formal education standards are not, themselves, the key to ethical behavior Academy and in-service ethics training are common and recommended for all departments Many courses use a moral reasoning approach Some advocate an emphasis on character Others recommend case studies

INTEGRITY TESTING: 

INTEGRITY TESTING Very controversial Not well-received by most officers Comparing integrity testing to undercover operations reveals that: Most officers oppose integrity testing Most officers support undercover operations

MISCONDUCT REVIEW: 

MISCONDUCT REVIEW Internal Affairs Model: Police investigate themselves Police use an internal discipline system Widely seen as ineffective Generally discourages civilian complaints Does not evoke public confidence

MISCONDUCT REVIEW: 

MISCONDUCT REVIEW Civilian Review/Complaint Model: An independent civilian agency audits complaints and investigations Police still investigate and conduct discipline proceeding Using departments receive more civilian complaints Internal and external substantiation rates about the same—approximately ten percent

EARLY WARNING or AUDIT SYSTEMS: 

EARLY WARNING or AUDIT SYSTEMS Seek to identify problem officers by trends of abuse or corruption complaints Identified officers may be subject to: Reassignment, retraining or transfer Referral to an employee assistance program A fitness-for-duty evaluation Dismissal

OTHER MANAGEMENT METHODS: 

OTHER MANAGEMENT METHODS Surveyed officers identify strict, fair discipline as best response to corruption Those same officers called for clear policies, superior performance by supervisors, and peer review boards

OTHER MANAGEMENT METHODS: 

OTHER MANAGEMENT METHODS Additional proposals to minimize or reduce police misconduct and deter corruption include: Decertification of offending officers Community policing programs College education requirements Enhanced discipline policies Civilian review Better training Greater accountability Economic incentives Assignment rotation Use of surveillance techniques Prosecuting offenders

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP: 

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP Mistrust of police administration is pervasive among the rank-and file Two cultures of policing: street cops and management Most agree that supervisor behavior has greater influence on employee behavior than directives or ethics Leaders lead most effectively by example

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